All Around The World

The multi cultural nature of the Washington DC area is well represented in the Inova clinic. Many of the children who come to the clinic for treatment and their families come from all over the world and they introduce many interesting customs, traditions, beliefs, faiths and languages. Despite the many differences we observe from family to family and within the various ethnicities, there are important similarities that are most apparent. The primary connection being that each family has a child that is being treated for cancer but there are other threads that are woven through this tapestry. Threads that reflect the love, concern and care each family has for their own child and how that is so often extended to the other children, teens, siblings and parents. Personal stories, guidance and support are shared and the boundaries that often separate people such as faith, language, style of dress or socioeconomic status all blur and important and meaningful connections are made. The children and teens support one another in a way no one else can and parents support each other as they share stories, suggestions and ideas that can make the journey easier and more bearable. These connections are beyond words or description and are witnessed every day.

The map hangs in the art room and provides a beautiful visual reminder of our world and its size and diversity. Each jewel on the map represents a family that is or has received treatment in our clinic and their country of origin. Parents and children have enjoyed placing a jewel on their country and seeing that it may be the first on the map or quite often that there are others also from that part of the world. Either way the message conveyed is that we are all connected, no matter where you were born, the world although enormous and expansive doesn’t feel so big when it is placed on the wall and our small community is represented there. Clinic world map 006 copy

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